Student’s Green Social Thesis Explores Social Media And Sustainability

10 05 2016

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Soon-to-be graduating Interactive Web Management/ Journalism student, Madeline Fisher, wants to know whether people are engaging in the sustainable behaviors they see on their social media feeds.

Fisher planned to answer this question through her yearlong research project as part of UW Oshkosh’s Honors Program. Seniors within the honors program are required to complete either an honors thesis or senior seminar to graduate. Students pick any topic that relates to their major and have the ability to choose a faculty member to help guide them. Fisher chose Journalism Professor Sara Steffes Hansen to serve as her faculty advisor.


The official project, Breaking down barriers: The relationship between social media and behavior change within sustainability objectives, includes a formal thesis paper and a digital e-book. Fisher explained how her project explored how people may find sustainable ideas on social media timelines, such as composting, and while liking the ideas, do not act on them.


Inspired by her two-year social media internship with the Sustainable World Coalition, Fisher was used to followers interacting with sustainable information she posted online.

“Followers were engaging with posts: liking, commenting and sharing the information I was distributing,” Fisher said. “But a thought that kept occurring to me was this: Are people actually engaging in sustainable behaviors in real life? If I’m posting all of this social content, is it really making a difference? Or is it just growing the organization’s follower count?”

Thus her project was born, also known as Green Social (#GreenSocial).

“Maddie did an exceptional job of pursuing an important research topic with practical uses for non-profit organizations,” Hansen said. “She also used creative storytelling and appealing visuals to make her findings informational and interesting.”

Fisher’s research included two focus groups with social media users, and one survey with over 300 respondents. She presented her findings at the Celebration of Scholarship, Honors Thesis Symposia and IWM Advisory Board Meeting.

Fisher is one of the first IWM honors thesis projects for UW Oshkosh, and she will be graduating May 14.


Summer Internships

28 04 2016

By Laurin Krekling (@LaurinKrekling)

Summer is right around the corner. For most students this means school is about to be over, and summer jobs are going to start up. This is also the time when college students can start to look for internships in order to gain real-world experience and foot in the door. Looking and applying for internships can be a very stressful process, but here are tips on making it better.

  1. Start looking early

Internships are usually highly competitive positions with numerous applicants. Summer internships start appearing as early as first semester. It is never too early to apply. You will be able to have more options when you look this early, which will help you find your dream internship faster and create less stress.

  1. Getting involved does matter

Get involved with activities as early as you can. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than seeing the numerous activities and/or executive positions you held within different clubs and organizations. This shows a good balance between school and other interests along with leadership skills and much more. This may open the door for other internships through networking with these activities.

  1. Make sure your cover letter and resume are clean

Nothing will turn off an interviewer more than an unorganized resume and cover letter with a lot of grammatical errors. Your resume, in many cases, will be making a first. Make sure it is well organized, neat, and error free. Have many people look over your resume for mistakes that you may have not noticed. Get plenty of opinions. Also, make sure it matches up with the internship you are applying for. If you are a graphic designer, for example, you might want a more creative resume. Get opinions, make it stand out, and be confident.

  1. Finding your internship

There are numerous ways that you can go about finding an internship.

  • School bulletin boards and department websites will advertise available internship. These include the Department of Journalism internship page and UW Oshkosh Handshake.
  • Ask faculty if they have any connections with surrounding companies.
  • Research companies near you and search their career page. If they do not have one, contact them by email and ask about their summer internship opportunities.
  • Search through internship websites such as,, and
  • Look at corporate or organizational LinkedIn or Facebook pages, or search for opportunities for work or networking.
  1. You applied and got the interview. Now what?

So you applied for your dream internship and got a call back for an interview. Many places start off with a phone or skype interview. These interviews should be taken as seriously as an in-person interview. Make sure you are prepared. Dressing the part also helps in building your confidence during the phone interview. Stay relaxed.

The next step is usually an in-person interview. Interviews can be very nerve-racking, but it is important to stay calm.

  • Come to the interview prepared.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Come with extra resumes or cover letters.
  • Be prepares with questions.
  • Know your resume and be able to answer questions about it.
  • Most importantly, be yourself.

Internships are a vital part of kick-starting your career. Experience is what companies search for, and internships will give you this head start. Start searching and hopefully you will land your dream internship this summer.



UWO Bateman Team Awarded Honorable Mention In National Competition

26 04 2016

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Bateman Team and Journalism 455 Public Relations Campaigns class received honorable mention in the national 2016 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Bateman Case Study Competition.

UWO ranked 16 out of the 70 entries received across the country by PRSSA Headquarters in New York City.

“The UWO Bateman Team and the Journalism Public Relations Campaigns class was able to increase awareness of UWO Student Veterans of America within the Oshkosh community by 20 percent in a seven-week period,” said Jean A. Giovanetti, Department of Journalism Lecturer and faculty adviser to the Bateman team. “They accomplished this with a lot of participation and support from students, staff, faculty, administrators and the Oshkosh community.”

Three teams were chosen as finalists and will present their campaigns to a panel of judges on Wednesday, May 18 in Chicago.

PRSSA challenged participants of the PRSSA 2016 Bateman Case Study Competition to raise awareness and spark local and national dialogue around the importance of education, in partnership with Student Veterans of America (SVA), The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Edelman.

The goals of this year’s Bateman Competition were to increase awareness on college campuses and in communities about veterans who are students around the globe, as well as increasing the support and networks for these deserving individuals.


2016 PRSSA Bateman Team


Front left to right: Stephanie Stradel, Megan Klamrowski

Back left to right: Kimberly Lohre, Megan Schroeder, Mallory Radney


2016 J455 Public Relations Campaigns


Front left to right: Jessica Zemlicka, Reegan Wallander, Stephanie Stradel, Megan Klamrowski, Mallory Radney

Back left to right: Kimberly Lohre, Megan Schroeder, Veronica Thiel, Connor Burke, Hannah Bostwick, Kristine Siebers


Bergin’s Book Tour, Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook

21 04 2016

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Journalism department alumna Mary Bergin recently finished her fifth book, “Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook.” Bergin, who specializes in travel and food writing, captures the essence of nostalgia and the iconic fare Wisconsin has to offer.

Bergin said she knew it would be a fun project. “It also helps preserve a part of Wisconsin’s culinary heritage,” Bergin said. “Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook” contains over 60 recipes from 40 supper clubs and Korbel, which is for the Old Fashioned Cocktail Bergin said.

If you are interested in meeting the author or learning more about the book, Bergin is on a book tour. For several of her events, Bergin will be teaming up with filmmaker Holly De Ruyter who made a supper club documentary.

Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook Schedule of Events:

April 19: UW Oshkosh Alumni Association, Mark’s East Side, Appleton, book talk

April 29 (2 p.m.), April 30 (3 p.m.), May 2 (6 p.m.) and May 4 (7:45 p.m.): Supper club documentary showings at Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago

May 5: Cameron Public Library/Senior Citizens Center cookbook talk, 2 p.m.

May 5: Lehmann’s Supper Club dinner, talk, movie showing, Rice Lake, 5 p.m.

May 6: Isle Theatre, Cumberland, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. film screenings

May 7: Redbery Bookstore cookbook signing, Cable, 10:30 a.m.

May 7: Hayward Public Library cookbook talk, 2 p.m.

May 7: Park Theater movie showing, talk, Hayward, 7:30 p.m.

May 9: McMillan Library film screening, Wisconsin Rapids, time to be announced

May 19: ArtStart, Rhinelander 6pm: Old Fashioned Happy Hour with book selling and signing, selling raffle tickets; 6:50-7pm-ish: Intro and film; 7:50-talk-question/answer, more book selling/signing and raffle drawing.

June 1: Brown County Library, Wisconsin food talk, including cookbook, 6 p.m.


They’re More Than Just Their Shoes- Professional Advice From Red Shoes PR, Inc.

6 04 2016

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Recently, the Dr. Julie Henderson Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter at UW Oshkosh had the opportunity to go on an agency tour of Red Shoes PR, Inc. The students participated in a question and answer session with surprise guest Mayor Tim Hanna of Appleton and a professional panel of members from the agency. Panel members included Red Shoes’ President Lisa Cruz, Kristen Schremp, and two UWO journalism department alumnae, Karilyn Robinson and Lauree Frechette. Below are the top five insights from the Red Shoes PR team.

  1. Do your research

Research is essential in public relations in a variety of ways. Some of those ways are researching who you are going to be working with, interviewing with, or whose business you’ll be visiting. The Red Shoes team wanted to drive that last example home, by giving the members of PRSSA a pop quiz. The students were quizzed on things that were discussed during the Q-A session to test their listening skills and things that would require prior research such as, “What is the name of Red Shoes PR’s blog?”

(The answer is Above The Fold)

  1. Wear many hats

Nine individuals staff Red Shoes, and while they all have their own titles and specialties, the reality of being a small business requires these professionals to be able to work in a multitude of areas. For example, your title may be content developer but you need to be willing (and able) to be a client solutions coordinator if and when your boss needs you to be.

  1. You will utilize your classes

As a student you’re being prepared to wear those many hats by your journalism classes. Both Robinson and Frechette mentioned using skills from their classes at UWO on a daily basis. Two of the classes they referenced were J221: Writing For The Media and J340: New and Emerging Media.

  1. Have an outlet

Public relations is a never-ending job. The hours on the office door may say 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but that isn’t necessarily when you’re done working. Things happen, some projects require extra work; sometimes there will be events or meetings you need to attend. Having a busy schedule makes it important that you find an outlet away from your work. Find something you’re passionate about and set time aside to focus on it. One outlet amongst the Red Shoes team is volunteering. They volunteer at a variety of places such as Orphan Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, Homeless Connections, and the Center for Grieving Children.

  1. “Take risks. Dream big.”-Lisa Cruz

That risk might be trying a crazy idea, like having George Wendt hand deliver your business proposal (which Cruz successfully did) or pursuing your dream job.

If you’re interested in joining the Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter, meetings are on Thursdays at 5 p.m. in Sage 3412. To learn more visit their Facebook and Twitter.


Making the most of advising…

19 02 2016

By Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)

When you are in college, one of the most stressful decisions to make is deciding which classes to take. You want classes that are interesting and that fit well within your major/minor.

When you look at the process as a whole, it can seem overwhelming and daunting. Fortunately, the UW Oshkosh Journalism Department has great faculty advisers who are willing to help you when choosing your classes.

As a non-traditional transfer student, I was worried about the advising process. I had no clue where to start. Luckily, my journalism advising experience has been painless. I worked one-on-one with my adviser who answered my questions and concerns. A plan was laid out that was beneficial to me based on where I was academically.

Laurin Krekling, a Journalism (Advertising) and Public Relations major, shared her experiences with advising. “As a traditional undergraduate student who has changed my major more than once, I have learned to appreciate how helpful the Journalism Department’s advising sessions are.  This last semester was my first time advising with the faculty, and it helped me a lot. I was able to sit down and personally talk with the adviser one-on-one. I think it helped out a lot that these advisers also taught some of the classes I was going to be in and gave me more of an up-close view,” Krekling said.

The advisers are here to help you complete the program as soon as possible, excel in the journalism program as well as take the best classes that will be beneficial for you and your future career goals.

“They were also very helpful in making sure I graduate as fast as possible. They were able to lay out the rest of my classes for me so I could visually see what the rest of my years here at the university looked like. I think that every student needs to take advantage of this because they can help you from the simple things of picking out classes, to helping you choose your emphasis and even show you internship opportunities,” Krekling said.

Here are some things to remember that will help you with the advising process.

  1. Sign up for the appropriate time and do it early–Signup for advising appointments starts next week. The sign-up sheets are posted outside of each journalism adviser’s office. Journalism classes fill up quickly, so the earlier you see your adviser, the better chance you have of getting into the classes that you need.

Note: Make sure you come early! Students will only have 15 minutes to meet with their advisor, so if you are late, you will lose part of your appointment time.

  1. Come prepared–Bring your current STAR report and come with a general idea of the classes you are interested in taking or have questions about.

Cindy Schultz has sent out an email that gives detailed information about the registration process. Please read the information carefully so you have a stress-free advising experience. For more information on journalism courses that are offered, see the curriculum worksheet.

Happy advising week!




Journalism Alumnus Takes on Japan

15 02 2016

Tom Hanaway2

Interview by Laurin Krekling (@LaurinKrekling)

Is a career abroad in your future? Journalism alumnus Tom Hanaway (2011) is living his dream of moving to another country to pursue his work in news and social media. Tom currently works as a web editor- social media manager for The Japan Times.

What was your major and emphasis when you went to UW Oshkosh?

Journalism with an emphasis in writing/editing.

What made you want to major in this?

I always loved news, ever since I was a child. I knew that journalism was an interesting field that offered many chances to be creative. I also felt like working in journalism is a fulfilling career where you can really feel like you’re making a difference.

Did you always know you wanted to study this?

Yes, ever since I was young. I remember in middle school telling all of my teachers that I was going to major in journalism, so it was my plan for years.

What advice would you give to other college students?

My advice is to do as much as possible! Do internships, join clubs and meet people. There are so many opportunities you can do as a college student, so take advantage of them. There are many study abroad programs and internships only available to current students, so take advantage of as much as you can. Also, befriend your teachers. My professors helped me countless times after college with job and life advice after graduation.

What class in college was the most useful to you?

Writing for the Media is one of the first classes journalism students have to take, and it’s honestly one of the most helpful. I’m still referring back to this class when writing articles, and thank goodness they jammed AP style into our heads because I still use it on a daily basis.

Were you involved in any clubs or organizations during your time at UW Oshkosh that helped you be successful? If so, which ones and why?

I was involved in a few, including the Social Media Club. These clubs taught me a lot of things outside of class and also helped me meet other students. I honestly learned so much from other students, including how they were applying to jobs and how they got their internships. It’s important to network with people in the business world, but don’t ignore your classmates.

How were you able to get your first job out of college and what is some advice for new college graduates on finding their first job?

My advice is to do what I did — in addition to networking, search everything. Bigshoesnetwork, LinkedIn, and yes, even Craigslist to find jobs. That’s how I found my first position. You might assume that a lot of companies will post their jobs on more well-known sites like LinkedIn, but honestly many of the people who are looking for editors or people in public relations have no idea about these sites, so they post on sites like Craigslist and hope to find the right people. I also recommend doing something while job searching. Start a blog, write articles to other sites, and take up photography. Just do something so you can show employers you’ve been sharpening your skills while job hunting. This shows that you’re self-motivated and have many skills to offer.

Did you always want to move to a new country?

Yes! I’ve always wanted to live in a different country — at least for part of my life. Many of my friends and Oshkosh professors told me that my 20s were my best time to do something so radical, so I just dove in and did it.

What gave you the courage to move to a new country?

I have two friends who lived abroad for several years — one in South Korea and one in Australia — and I was always so jealous of the adventures they were having and the culture shocks they seemed to have on a weekly basis. They inspired me to try it, too.

What was your biggest fear about moving to a different country? Did these fears ever become a reality, and if so how did you overcome then?

I guess no having any kind of safety net is the biggest fear. Going to a new country means that your family or your friends can’t help you out. At the beginning, you kind of have to rely on yourself almost 100 percent in order to get things done. The first month living in Japan was extremely difficult — learning how to fill out forms, opening banks accounts, buying a phone, signing up for insurance and so on. But if you can get over that first huge hurdle, then the rest is pretty smooth.

What is the hardest thing about living so far away from home?

The hardest thing is obviously missing friends and family back home. The hardest parts are when you miss important moments — weddings, funerals, births and parties. You wish you could just snap your fingers and be back home, but that’s not how things work. It’s also hard to keep up with friends sometimes because of the time zones. Usually people are asleep when you’re awake, and vice versa, so it can be hard getting a hold of people.

What is the biggest difference about living in Japan compared to America?

Japan is much more about the community, and America is much more about the individual. In Japan, you always have to be aware of the people around you and in your group. Americans might see it as strict, but in Japan you have to be quiet on public transportation, make sure every single person is OK with a decision, and so on. In America we value being an individual more. For example, in America, if someone has a dissenting opinion, we hear them out and try to alter plans to fit them, or at least listen to them. In Japan, it would be seen as disruptive or selfish to ask people to alter certain plans. So it’s tricky.

That, and the language. Obviously English is different than Japanese. Also, in Japanese you tend to be a lot more indirect than in English. Instead of saying “Do this” you would say something like “If it’s OK, could you do this for me?”

Do you see yourself staying abroad or is it more of a temporary position?

I think at the moment it’s staying abroad until it no longer feels right. Currently I’m loving it. I love the challenge of learning Japanese, I love experiencing new things about the culture all the time, and I love how safe and clean it is here. So at this point I’m not too sure.

What is a typical day at your work like and what are your responsibilities?

I work on a variety of things, including editing the website, doing social media, tracking statistics, working with interns, and sometimes I write articles, too. Every day is different, but that’s what I love about it.

Were there a lot of differences between your typical workday in the United States compared to Japan?

Since we have many Westerners in our office, it’s not too different. The only big difference is that when you leave the office, you have to say “otsukaresamadesu” to your co-workers, which kind of means “Thanks for your hard work.” Everybody says it to everyone when they leave.

What is some advice that you have when it comes to networking?

My advice is just to be friendly and open. Attend events, have a business card handy, and have your elevator pitch ready. What you need to know about networking is that it doesn’t always pay off instantly. Sometimes months or years after you meet someone, they’ll reach out to you with a job offer or a lead. So be patient.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with me that I did not already ask?

The journalism program at Oshkosh is fantastic. The professors are amazing and the classes truly prepare you for the real world. Also, be open-minded with your major. Despite people saying that news is dying, there are so many different jobs out there in public relations, editing, social media and more. You kind of have to be a jack-of-all-trades type, but the possibilities are really endless.